AV Club writer Nathan Rabin dives headfirst into the worlds of, in his words, two of the most "maligned tribes" in popular music: Phish fans and Insane Clown Posse fans, aka Juggalos. It's the kind of immersive journalism we associate with new journalists such as Hunter S. Thompson (the most obvious precedent) and Joan Didion. It's only half-successful, as Rabin shares way too much about his life. I have little but an anthropological interest in either of these bands, but I can appreciate their rabid fan base. The I.C.P. sections are more engaging, as they are stranger and more revealing (literally and figuratively) than the Phish sections, which mostly involve druggy types who dig long songs. I am still not "down with the clown," but ICP's "Miracles" is one of the most amazing videos of the past decade.
For anyone looking for an impartial anthropological study of Phish heads and Juggalos, this is not quite it. Rabin provides a history of both bands, captures the details of their shows and festivals, and he talks to a great many fans, but this is ultimately an internal conflict we're dealing with.
Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/you_dont_know_me_rabin
I liked the book even though I can't say I know much about Phish or Insane Clown Posse. People can relate to their rabid following (or not).
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